City May Settle Lawsuit With Perez Home Contractor
Same contractor had multi-million dollar contract on Park Street
By Jeff Cohen
September 24, 2010
The city of Hartford may settle a lawsuit brought by contractor Carlos Costa – the man who did deeply discounted renovations on the home of former Mayor Eddie Perez while falling behind on a multi-million dollar contract with the city. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports.
Mayor Pedro Segarra isn't at all happy with what's left from the multi-million-dollar project to remake Park Street.
“It’s the ultimate example of how a project should not have been managed. The light posts are peeling, the bricks are falling out, trees are rotting. There is nothing really pretty about the project anymore.”
Still, the city and its mayor are considering paying Costa nearly half a million dollars to make him, and his lawsuit, go away.
Costa’s company, USA Contractors, got a $5.3 million contract to remake the street that is the heart of the city’s Latino community. But the contract was a complicated mess from the beginning, and, in 2009, Costa sued the city for more than $2 million. He said the city breached its contract and owed him money.
The two sides have been negotiating a settlement since the suit was filed. Segarra supports the settlement, as long as Park Street’s merchants do, too.
“I agree with the number, I agree with settling it. It’s not that I’m happy with the outcome, but a settlement is exactly that – it’s something that basically allows you to just move forward.”
Tim Corey is Costa’s attorney. He says Costa is losing money on the deal. He also says it's the city that's responsible for the conditions on Park Street now – not Costa.
“I cannot think of any instance on Park Street that is an example of poor workmanship. Rather it is vandalism or failure to properly maintain the work in place, which we turned over to the city about three years ago.”
Costa was arrested for doing deeply discounted work on the house of former Mayor Eddie Perez in exchange for favorable consideration on the Park Street project at city hall. Costa’s case is pending. Perez was sentenced to three years in prison last week and is free on appeal.